Our country, you know, is truly an endless source of beauty. No wonder we are known abroad as the ‘Bel Paese’ (aka: Beautiful Country). In addition to the beautiful and unique landscapes in any area of the peninsula, our land has hosted, artists who have left priceless works from ancient times.
The hectic pace of modern life, the social conditioning that we live in, the consumerism growth, these are all factors that will relentlessly distance ourselves from the authenticity of the term “beauty”.
I feel a bit of shame in admitting I have underestimated the importance of some values in our lives for too long. That’s why I am extremely grateful to this experience abroad. It’s thanks to the distance that I’ve started appreciating the cultural heritages of my country, some of them I used to ignore.
I’m mainly referring to crafts, which is actually a cultural and quality model that sets us apart and makes our country stand out in the world. Italian craftsmanship is often neglected, and we sometimes forget that making a new object is a true form of art.
As you know I was in Ostra, and after spending a fantastic weekend at ‘the Night of the Sprevengoli’, I had a walk in this magnificent town to appreciate its charms.Since 2003 Ostra has been rewarded with the ‘Orange Flag’ by the Italian Touring Club; a recognition of quality to small towns (population 15,000 or less) in Italy for excellency in tourism, hospitality and the environment. The beauty of the village, the friendly and quiet atmosphere of the hills make Ostra a destination increasingly sought after by Italian and foreign vacationers, especially in summer.
After walking around the upper town, in the heart of the “Piazza dei Martiri” Square and admiring the Town Hall, the Victoria Theatre, the Civic Tower and the Church of San Francesco, I definitely wanted to visit the Restoration School of Antique Furniture.
Ostra is a town that pays great importance to handicrafts and for this reason, the town is focusing on education and training of young people in making hand-made products.
The intention is to offer to future generations an opportunity to appreciate and protect a domestic asset such as crafts as well as forming highly-specialized professionals. The school organizes specialized courses of embroidery, decorative painting of interiors and glas processing through the technical expertise and extensive experience of some local artisans.
A ‘National Antiques and Artistic Craft Show’ is held in the monumental palace of the ‘Conventual Fathers’ every year in mid-August. The event attracts tourists and qualified visitors from all over Italy.
Trust me my dear friends, Ostra will be able to offer you a journey trough the past and future!
A special thanks to the Municipality of Ostra and the friends of Ostraeventi for their collaboration.